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What Drove Buyers to Shop on Cyber Monday

Holiday shopping

Holiday shoppingCyber Monday sales were up nearly 20% over last year. Here’s what people were buying and where, what drove them to their shopping destinations, and what attributes were most important to Cyber Monday shoppers.

Last Sunday we reported holiday shopping 2018 was off to a strong start, and Cyber Monday sales confirmed it. Adobe Analytics said online spending was up 19% to a record $7.9 billion for the day.

Rakuten Intelligence (formerly Slice) said sales on the long 2018 Cyber Weekend (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) were up 18% from 2017. But while Cyber Monday broke its own sales record, Rakuten said Black Friday edged it out for the first time.

An impressive $2 billion of Cyber Monday sales came from smartphones, according to Adobe. And apparently half of that came from PayPal. Executive Bill Ready tweeted on Friday that PayPal passed more than $1 billion in mobile payment volume for the first time ever on Black Friday and again on Cyber Monday.

What Drove Buyers to Purchase Destinations
Adobe looked at what drove buyers to their purchase destination.

Shoppers knew where they wanted to go: on Cyber Monday, 25.3% of sales were the result of direct visits to websites (down 1.2% year over year).

Organic search came in at almost 19%, but ads were more effective traffic drivers: paid search contributed 25.1% of buying traffic, up 7.4 percent YoY.

Retailers should continue with email marketing efforts – Adobe attributed 24% of sales to traffic coming from email.

Least effective driver of sales (remember, actual buyers, not all traffic): Adobe said that similar to past years, social media continued to have minimal impact on online sales, at 1.1% of share.

What Shoppers Were Buying
The National Retail Federation (NRF) had some insight into what people were buying over the Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend.

“Top purchases over the weekend included apparel (bought by 57 percent of those surveyed), toys (34 percent), books and video games (29 percent), electronics (26 percent) and gift cards (20 percent).”

CTA had data on tech products. Among U.S. adults who shopped or planned to shop during Black Friday Week, the top five tech products and accessories shoppers purchased or planned to purchase were:

Tech Devices:
– TVs

– Videogame Consoles

– Tablets

– Smartphones

– Digital Media Streaming Devices

Tech Accessories:
– Videogame Discs

– Wireless Headphones and Streaming Services (tied ranking)

-Wireless Earbuds and Mobile Device Cases (tied ranking)

Where Shoppers Were Buying
Brand Keys founder and President Robert Passikoff said the “usual suspects” were the beneficiaries of Cyber Monday deals, revealing the top retailers mentioned most by consumers were the following:

1. Amazon
2. Walmart
3. Best Buy
4. Target
5. Kohl’s
6. Dell
7. Neiman Marcus
8. Gamestop
9. Home Depot
10. eBay

Looking at the broader retail ecosystem, the NRF said top shopping destinations during the BF- CM weekend included department stores (42 percent), online retailers (38 percent), apparel stores (30 percent), grocery stores (30 percent), discount stores (29 percent) and electronics stores (27 percent).

Consumers Want Deals Most of All
Brand Keys found that consumers were most interested in deals on Cyber Monday. Free shipping edged out fast shipping on their want lists:

Deals 88%
Free Shipping 81%
Fast Shipping 79%
Easy-to-Navigate site 76%
In-stock Inventory 75%
Customer Service 72%

Monetate data also indicates shoppers’ hunger for deals, finding a drop in shopping-cart conversion rate compared to the same period last year. “The findings indicate that while brands are successfully driving consumers to their sites – website traffic is up 13.1 percent globally from 2017 – consumers are shopping around before making final purchase decisions at a higher rate than years past,” it said.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “What Drove Buyers to Shop on Cyber Monday”

  1. Does anyone remember when Greedbay was always first on these lists. NOW THEY ARE 10th. Next year they won’t even be on the list. How sad. Greedbay has just become an after thought instead of a destination.

  2. Ebays sale was a popup 4 hour coupon. 2 years ago that would be wow news but this year was saturated with sitewide coupons. And it was not announced ahead of time. And it was short. Felt gimmicky and I did not buy from it. Talked about it with friends, though, who agreed it was lame.

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